What’s New in the Online Tracker

The free Online Tracker for The Family History Guide has been up and running for about 7 months, and it now has over 1,100 registered users. (It’s the only part of The Family History Guide that requires a username and password; the rest of the site does not.) With the Online Tracker, or “OLT” as we sometimes call it, you can keep track of your notes and progress in The Family History Guide in a secure online database.

Today we updated the OLT in a number of ways to help your user experience be even better. Here’s a list of the new enhancements, going from top to bottom of the screen:

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Context Switching and Family History: From Foe to Friend

I am proud to say that I can walk and chew gum at the same time! I’ve done it so often that I’m quite confident in my skills. When the tasks gets more complicated than that, however, I don’t always do so well.

Many of us consider ourselves true multi-taskers, but there are some trade-offs there, especially when it comes to doing family history. In this article I’ll discuss some myths and facts about multi-tasking and how they relate to a potential roadblock to your progress: context switching.

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Happiness is … an Amazon Smile

Along with the roll-out of the new Home page and the new menu system for The Family History Guide, we also updated the footer section for each page.  Here’s what it looks like now:

Notice that at the very bottom of the page there is a new tile for using the Amazon Smile program with The Family History Guide.

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New Look for the Home Page and Menus

We are excited to announce a new, streamlined look to our Home page at The Family History Guide. This also includes a tiered menu system that gives easier access to a number of features across the site. Here’s a step-by-step walk-through that demonstrates the new additions.

Home Page Design

The first thing you’ll notice is that the new design relies on simple picture tiles and bullets – you can find what you want without reading sentences. The tiles and bullets are arranged by category, each linked to the appropriate topic:

Just below the tiles is the “reading box” with text that explains more about website and The Family History Guide Association. Notice that we have added our Mission Statement here as well.


The lower section of the Home page is the footer, and that has been redesigned to include our new RootsTech Exhibitor badge, as well as a new Amazon Smile tile (more about that in an upcoming blog).


Some of our users have requested that we spell out the Learning Path / Partner abbreviations in the menu (FamilySearch instead of FS, Ancestry instead of AN, etc.) That, plus the need to accommodate more menu items as the site grows, led us to a tiered menu system – there are now two rows of drop-down menu items in the upper right:

Here are a few things that have changed:

  • To get back to the Home page, click the logo (upper left) for The Family History Guide.
  • The Learning Paths are now spelled out.
  • We added Activities, Tracker, Vault, and LDS as a new drop-down menus. These were previously in the “More” menu, which has been removed.
  • The Media/Social menu has links to our Blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages, as well as to the brochures, flyers, and videos in The Family History Guide.
  • We added the Countries menu, with links to the U.S., Canada, England, and major regions (British Isles, Scandinavia, Asia/Pacific, etc.) plus the Ethnic groups. The previous Countries links at the bottom of the Partner pages have been removed.
  • Most abbreviations in previous menus have now been spelled out.

One more important note: the new menus, as well as the updated footer, are now included on each page of The Family History Guide site. No matter where you are, you’ll have the easy-to-use, comprehensive menu system at your command.

We hope you enjoy the new look and feel of the Home page and menus. Try them out at www.thefhguide.com. You can give us feedback at info@thefhguide.com.

Welcome to Scott Anderson, Outreach/Public Relations Director

We’re proud to announce that Scott Anderson has joined our team at The Family History Guide Association as Outreach/Public Relations Director. He has been with us less than a month but already has been instrumental in getting the wheels turning for some exciting opportunities for the Association and The Family History Guide.

Scott Anderson attained a BA degree from the University of Utah in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance and a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy both from BYU. He taught in the LDS Church Education System beginning in 1972, with the majority of his career as a faculty member at the Orem Institute of Religion. He is a published author and lectures for BYU Education Weeks, Especially for Youth, and various other venues, including the Governor’s Conference On Families and the Utah Freedom Academy. Dr. Anderson recently retired from working as a therapist at Suncrest Counseling Center. He enjoys home improvement projects, family history, humanitarian service, and had a great time running a marathon with his daughter. He and his wife, Angelle, who is the Family Activities Coordinator for The Family History Guide Association, reside in Bluffdale, Utah.

Welcome, Scott!

The Family History Guide Will Help You Find Your Way

Editor’s Note: The following article is republished from the Family History Newsletter of the Ogden FamilySearch Library. Thanks to Elder and Sister Erickson!

Do you like family history, but feel a little overwhelmed by the fire hose of information that is out on the Internet? Then you’ll like the Family History Guide, a fairly new learning, resource, and training center for genealogy.

Bob Ives, the Family History Guide Association’s vice president and executive director, spoke at the Ogden FamilySearch Library Saturday, October 21, 2017 to a large crowd. He said the Family History Continue reading “The Family History Guide Will Help You Find Your Way”

Finding What You Need in The Family History Guide

If you are new to The Family History Guide, you may have wondered how to find a bit of information you are looking for. Let’s say you need to learn about adoption records, or you would like to do some research in Tennessee. How can you find what you’re after, quickly and easily?

This blog post offers three handy tips for finding information in The Family History Guide:

  • Topics page
  • Site map
  • Search bar

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Tidying Up the Vault

Do you have a utility room, a food storage room, or a garage with all sorts of great stuff inside but a fair amount of clutter as well? Every so often you just need to roll up your sleeves and tidy up the space. And that’s what we have done with our favorite storage room in The Family History Guide – the Vault.

Let’s step inside and see what’s new. (Nothing scary here, even though Halloween is a week away …)

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The Family History Guide Achieves Public Charity Status – 501(c)(3)

It’s a day that has been a long time coming, from a dream to reality. We knew that we needed to take the next step and become a nonprofit organization, so we formed The Family History Guide Association about 6 months ago. As of last week, the final piece has come into place: the Association is now recognized by the IRS as an official public charity with 501(c)(3) status, which means that donors can receive tax credits for their donations. Because our income depends on donations, this has huge significance for us. We owe a huge thanks to the efforts of Bob Ives in bringing our 501(c)(3) status to completion.

So why do we need increased donations? To put it simply, we have big plans. We have come a long way in just over 2 years, including partnerships with FamilySearch, MyHeritage and others, and an expanding role at RootsTech. We have already brought the joys of family history to many throughout the world. But the opportunities ahead of us are enormous – and exciting. Here are a few of them:

  • We will be greatly expanding training efforts in the United States and beyond, and that will require people, equipment, and travel budgets.
  • Our presence at RootsTech is growing, and that means increased costs for booth space and marketing materials.
  • We plan to attend many more family history and genealogy conventions and fairs, which will significantly increase travel and equipment costs.

We are excited about finally becoming a public charity 501(c)(3) organization, and we will continue our pledge to keep The Family History Guide free for everyone and best-in-class. To learn more about the Association and the opportunity to make tax-deductible donations, please visit http://www.thefhguide.com/association.html.

Thanks for your support and enthusiasm for The Family History Guide!

U.S. County Research with The Family History Guide

When you’re looking for information on your ancestors in the United States, remember to take advantage of resources at the county level. These may include vital records, directories, census records, military records, newspapers, and more.

The Family History Guide can be a great asset for your research. Here are four items to explore when you are looking into doing county research. Each item has a corresponding link in The Family History Guide for reference.

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